Home » People & Culture » Employee Performance Evaluations Best Practices

Employee Performance Evaluations Best Practices
This article emphasizes why conducting employee performance evaluations is crucial to the success of a company. It also includes tips on how to effectively handle these evaluations.

Home » People & Culture » Employee Performance Evaluations Best Practices

Employee Performance Evaluations Best Practices

This article emphasizes why conducting employee performance evaluations is crucial to the success of a company. It also includes tips on how to effectively handle these evaluations.
Employee evaluation is an important part of a company’s quality assurance. Many companies formally evaluate an employee’s performance and progress after an initial trial period and then again on an annual or semi-annual basis. Although performance evaluations can improve productivity and employee morale, many employers do not make them a high priority because they are time-consuming and are sometimes viewed by managers as having little practical value.

 

Why Conduct a Performance Evaluation?

  • To promote growth and competence and to increase employee productivity
  • To facilitate employer-employee communication, and develop relationships
  • To hold all employees to the same standard of performance and identify high and low performers
  • To let employees know how they are doing
  • To document incidents of poor performance for future reference
  • To establish valid defenses for employment litigation and legitimate reasons for termination
  • To determine the level of salary increases

From a productivity perspective, regular performance reviews can help ensure that employees meet performance expectations. They can also help evaluate individuals, teams, and managers and find underperformers that must be addressed.

In addition, the increasing number of discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits illustrate the importance of performance documentation to justify the legitimate business reasons underlying an employer’s personnel decisions. A series of well-documented evaluations clearly describing an employee’s poor performance provides the employer with objective evidence of fair and nondiscriminatory reasons to support a job transfer, demotion, layoff, or termination. Failure to conduct formal evaluations may leave an employer vulnerable to a discrimination or wrongful discharge lawsuit.

 

Best Practices When Implementing a Performance Evaluation Process

  • Perform formal evaluations at the same time for everyone each year. While this increases the workload of managers and supervisors during review time, it forces direct comparisons of employees and establishes a nonbiased system.
  • Have regular meetings with supervisory staff. Supervisors will learn from each other’s experiences. Provide adequate training and insist on candid observations.
  • Communicate to employees what their duties are and what satisfactory performance is. Accomplish this through periodic reviews of job descriptions, training, and formal and informal appraisals.
  • Tell employees the criteria upon which their performance will be reviewed. Develop standards and establish reasonable goals for employees. Make sure that employees understand the consequences of their failure to improve.
  • Don’t wait until the annual evaluation to provide feedback; offer it throughout the year. Give both positive and negative feedback.
  • Document poor performance in writing. This can be done through coaching, training, discipline, or assessment.
  • Ask employees to complete a self-assessment in addition to the review conducted by the manager. This can identify areas where the employee and manager disagree on performance or expectations.
  • Allow employees to review, challenge, and comment on the evaluation.
  • Meet with employees to discuss all evaluations and expectations. Keep a record of the meeting.
  • Have employees sign the evaluation. While the employee may disagree with it, it provides evidence that the employee has seen it and has been given a copy. If the employee refuses to sign, the individual giving the evaluation should sign it along with a witness noting that the employee was given a copy.
  • Establish a review process for evaluations. This will keep the supervisor honest and ensure that the supervisory staff is performing reviews consistently.
  • Give employees time to improve and offer resources and assistance if appropriate.
  • Follow established procedures strictly. Apply all procedures and standards equally to all employees.
  • Use other supervisory personnel in the process, if possible, to mitigate claims of personality conflict. This will enhance credibility if all evaluations point to the same conclusion.
  • Ensure employees understand the consequences of failure to perform at an acceptable level. There should be no surprises in employee supervision and evaluation.
  • Managers should be held responsible for helping subordinates develop and improve. Maintain confidentiality in employee performance evaluations.
Employee evaluation is an important part of a company’s quality assurance. Many companies formally evaluate an employee’s performance and progress after an initial trial period and then again on an annual or semi-annual basis. Although performance evaluations can improve productivity and employee morale, many employers do not make them a high priority because they are time-consuming and are sometimes viewed by managers as having little practical value.

 

Why Conduct a Performance Evaluation?

  • To promote growth and competence and to increase employee productivity
  • To facilitate employer-employee communication, and develop relationships
  • To hold all employees to the same standard of performance and identify high and low performers
  • To let employees know how they are doing
  • To document incidents of poor performance for future reference
  • To establish valid defenses for employment litigation and legitimate reasons for termination
  • To determine the level of salary increases

From a productivity perspective, regular performance reviews can help ensure that employees meet performance expectations. They can also help evaluate individuals, teams, and managers and find underperformers that must be addressed.

In addition, the increasing number of discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits illustrate the importance of performance documentation to justify the legitimate business reasons underlying an employer’s personnel decisions. A series of well-documented evaluations clearly describing an employee’s poor performance provides the employer with objective evidence of fair and nondiscriminatory reasons to support a job transfer, demotion, layoff, or termination. Failure to conduct formal evaluations may leave an employer vulnerable to a discrimination or wrongful discharge lawsuit.

 

Best Practices When Implementing a Performance Evaluation Process

  • Perform formal evaluations at the same time for everyone each year. While this increases the workload of managers and supervisors during review time, it forces direct comparisons of employees and establishes a nonbiased system.
  • Have regular meetings with supervisory staff. Supervisors will learn from each other’s experiences. Provide adequate training and insist on candid observations.
  • Communicate to employees what their duties are and what satisfactory performance is. Accomplish this through periodic reviews of job descriptions, training, and formal and informal appraisals.
  • Tell employees the criteria upon which their performance will be reviewed. Develop standards and establish reasonable goals for employees. Make sure that employees understand the consequences of their failure to improve.
  • Don’t wait until the annual evaluation to provide feedback; offer it throughout the year. Give both positive and negative feedback.
  • Document poor performance in writing. This can be done through coaching, training, discipline, or assessment.
  • Ask employees to complete a self-assessment in addition to the review conducted by the manager. This can identify areas where the employee and manager disagree on performance or expectations.
  • Allow employees to review, challenge, and comment on the evaluation.
  • Meet with employees to discuss all evaluations and expectations. Keep a record of the meeting.
  • Have employees sign the evaluation. While the employee may disagree with it, it provides evidence that the employee has seen it and has been given a copy. If the employee refuses to sign, the individual giving the evaluation should sign it along with a witness noting that the employee was given a copy.
  • Establish a review process for evaluations. This will keep the supervisor honest and ensure that the supervisory staff is performing reviews consistently.
  • Give employees time to improve and offer resources and assistance if appropriate.
  • Follow established procedures strictly. Apply all procedures and standards equally to all employees.
  • Use other supervisory personnel in the process, if possible, to mitigate claims of personality conflict. This will enhance credibility if all evaluations point to the same conclusion.
  • Ensure employees understand the consequences of failure to perform at an acceptable level. There should be no surprises in employee supervision and evaluation.
  • Managers should be held responsible for helping subordinates develop and improve. Maintain confidentiality in employee performance evaluations.

The Last Word

Employee performance evaluations are an important process in any organization, small or large.  If done thoughtfully and consistently, evaluations can help boost productivity and provide justification against employee lawsuits.  For more workplace resources, contact an InsureGood Advisor today.

Additional Resources

an hr professional engaging low code software development

Low Code Software Development for HR

More HR departments and professionals are leveraging technology to reimagine common or time-consuming processes. This article explores how low code software development tools can support everyday HR activities and allow more time for higher-level or strategic job functions.

Read More

three key employees looking at a report

Identifying and Retaining Key Employees

Key employees are vital to the success of their organizations, so it is important to figure out who they are and how to keep them. Employers should stay alert to indicators of key employees within their organizations and figure out those workers’ desires so they can implement effective strategies to retain them.

Read More

"payday" sketched in a notebook highlighting today's compensation trends

Compensation Trends for 2023

More than ever, compensation is top of mind for employers and employees alike. This article explores today’s top compensation trends and how employers can best compete in the labor market looking ahead to 2023.

Read More

Loading...